focus group

Focus group

The focus group (or discussion group) is a qualitative market study technique frequently used by IntoTheMinds. We organize focus groups from A to Z in most European countries. Our qualitative panels allow for the recruitment of respondents in all fields, in B2C as well as B2B. We organize in-person and remote focus groups. Our B2B panel of over 20,000 respondents allows us to meet all your needs for your B2B market studies. Whatever your sector of activity, you can count on us to provide you with a tailor-made solution.

Contact us for the organization of your focus groups. Quotes within 48 hours.

Focus group: our services at a glance

  • Territories covered: Europe if the focus group is in-person; worldwide for a remote focus group (virtual focus group)
  • Languages: French, English, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Budget: starting from €1500 excluding VAT per focus group
  • Duration of the study: starting from 3 weeks
  • Deliverables: video files, analysis, significant verbatims, recommendations
  • Technical aspects: live broadcasting possible upon request; systematic recording. Translations and subtitling optional.
  • Quotes: within 48 hours (immediate approximate budget by contacting us by phone)
example of online focus group

Example of an online focus group conducted for a French client. Use of a mind mapping tool to structure ideas live.

Why organize a focus group?

The focus group is a methodological approach that belongs to the family of qualitative techniques. It is often confused with individual qualitative interviews. However, its objectives are different (see our blog article on this subject).

The focus group is a qualitative technique that allows for providing clear answers when it comes to:

  • launching a new product
  • detecting sources of dysfunction in a company
  • making corporate decisions
  • providing additional lines of thought on a specific topic or hypothesis.

As its name suggests, the focus group aims to:

  • concentrate on a series of specific themes
  • debate them in a group

It is a so-called “confirmatory” technique that allows to

  • verify certain hypotheses
  • make choices
  • bring out additional lines of thought
focus group vs interviews

Comparative table of the advantages and disadvantages of the focus group compared to individual interviews.

Focus groups have unfortunately been misused by many market research firms. These firms have forgotten the fundamental rules related to this technique. As academics Kidd and Parshall remind us in an article published in 2000, interest in the focus group was mainly motivated by issues of time and cost management compared to individual interviews.

By calling on IntoTheMinds, you have the assurance that we will use the focus group appropriately. We will not hesitate to propose an alternative methodology if we believe that the quality of your project will be enhanced. For more information on the focus group and its alternatives, watch our video below.

Example of a project and client testimonial

IntoTheMinds worked from 2019 to 2022 with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Nice Côte d’Azur on a project aimed at strengthening cross-border ties with Italy. This project led us to conduct nearly 30 focus groups and qualitative interviews with various project stakeholders. We worked in French and Italian.

On the CCI side, two project managers had been designated to follow this project, including Julien Puel whose testimonial you can find below.

market research firm: Julien Puel's testimonial

Julien PUEL, GIS Manager, CCI Nice Côte d’Azur

“IntoTheMinds accompanied the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Nice Côte d’Azur as part of a European project. The team perfectly adapted given the difficulties encountered (health crisis, climatic events that affected the study area) in addition to those inherent to a project of such magnitude.

Thank you again for your work, your adaptability, and your contributions to successfully carry out our project.”

Contact our team

Organization of a focus group

The realization of a study including focus groups revolves around 4 stages.

1. Recruitment of participants

step 1

Recruiting participants is an important step in the project. We use our own panels to compose groups as close as possible to your objectives. The number of participants and therefore sessions depends on the project. We recommend a minimum of 3 sessions with 6 people per session. To learn more about the ideal size of qualitative samples, you can use our online calculator.

We have a panel of 20,000 professionals ready to participate in our qualitative studies. These 20,000 professionals are distributed as follows:

  • 67% are located in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg
  • 30% live in the rest of the European Union
  • 3% are outside the European Union

This very responsive panel allows us to succeed even the most complicated projects. Many market research firms also call on our services for transnational studies. If your project covers several countries, contact IntoTheMinds directly to avoid intermediaries and guarantee the quality of your study.

2. Moderation guide

step 2The moderation guide is an indispensable tool. It differs from the classic interview guide which is most often semi-structured.

The moderation guide allows the team to prepare to lead the discussion group by

  • listing the themes to be addressed
  • anticipating the transitions between questions
  • planning the more complicated points

The moderation guide is therefore an indispensable step to guarantee the quality of the focus group.

3. Moderation of the focus group

step 3Moderation is of course a key success factor. The quality of the moderator partly determines the richness of the insights that will be extracted from the discussion group.

We have experienced moderators who are fluent in several languages. They are professionals experienced in this exercise.

Another consultant (the observer) assists the moderator. The observer will take notes live and perform a first hot analysis. This way the moderator can focus on maintaining the group’s dynamics.

4. Analysis

step 4Analysis is the last part of the project. It is carried out in tandem (moderator and observer):

  • after each focus group: hot debriefing and drafting of a document summarizing the session
  • at the end of all discussion groups: cross-analysis by taking up the themes of the moderation guide and illustrating the conclusions with verbatims.

Each session is subject to a transcription. The latter serves as a support for us to have an objective basis for work and deliver reliable conclusions. Incidentally, the transcriptions also help us find the most interesting verbatims to illustrate our conclusions.

Contact us for the organization of focus groups

What compensation for focus group participants?

The question of compensation is very often asked. We have also written a complete article on compensation for B2B respondents.

For a 2-hour focus group, we generally offer between 50€ and 200€ depending on the respondent’s profile and the theme. For particularly complicated subjects or rare profiles, compensation tends to be higher.

On-site focus group

Historically, focus groups were conducted on-site. Even today, this method is quite widespread although it tends to be competed with a virtual variant since the Covid crisis.

In its on-site version, the focus group can be organized in different places:

  • classic meeting room with board and “paperboard” so that ideas can take shape and be exchanged
  • room equipped with a one-way mirror. This allows other team members to take notes, observe the group dynamics, without actively participating. This type of arrangement is also suitable for clients who want to follow the session live.
  • place chosen to put participants in a particular ambiance or context. This type of contextualization may be indicated for studies involving manipulations or use of objects.

We can organize this type of session in the city of your choice, in France and abroad. Our offices in Paris and Brussels


room for focus group with one-way mirror

An on-site focus group can be conducted in a room equipped with a one-way mirror. This allows the client to follow the interactions live and take notes.

Contact our market research firm

Online focus group

Online discussion groups have gained a lot of popularity since the Covid crisis. This has been a powerful lever for adoption for 2 reasons:

  • companies that wanted to continue their qualitative studies had no choice but to accept that the usual techniques be carried online
  • respondents were forced to adapt which accelerated the adoption of online qualitative techniques

During a virtual session, it is important to maintain good group dynamics. Also, we advise to significantly reduce the number of participants to a maximum of 6.

IntoTheMinds offers an online solution that allows clients to follow the focus group in a hidden manner, as if they were behind a one-way mirror. This solution also allows HD and 4K video recordings and wav format audio recordings. We can thus offer you, during the analysis of the results, high-quality video clips that you can reuse later.

Online Focus Group

Participation in focus groups is facilitated by the possibilities offered by online solutions. We use several, depending on the needs of clients and the typology of respondents.